Late Lodgements of Tax Returns

If you miss the tax return deadline you could be due a fine and/or a penalty. This article will highlight some of the key dates to remember and the fines and penalties that could be imposed if you do not.

At the end of each tax year (April 5th), the Inland Revenue will contact you if they think that you need to complete a tax return because you have completed one before or because you have been asked to complete one by them.

Even if the Inland Revenue do not contact you and you may need to still complete a tax return to declare any necessary income and expenses if the situation arises.

If you have completed a paper tax return in previous years, you should be sent another paper copy. If you have filed online you should receive a ‘Notice to Fill’.

Deadlines

  • Paper Tax Returns – Must reach the Inland Revenue by midnight on 31 October

The only exception to this deadline is:

  1. If you receive a notice to fill after 31 July. In this case you will have 3 months to file from the date that you receive the notice.
  2. There is no software to complete your tax return (e.g. Non resident companies) or you have been told by the Inland Revenue that you can not file online.
  • Online Tax Returns – Must Reach the Inland Revenue by midnight on 31 January

The only exception to this deadline is:

  1. If you receive a notice to fill after 31 October. In this case you will have 3 months to file from the date that you receive the notice.

Late Lodgement Penalties

If the Inland Revenue receive your tax return after the deadline, there is an automatic £100 fine.

How to avoid your Late Lodgement Fine:

If you have a reasonable excuse then you do not have to pay a fine. There are no hard and fast rules but some excuses accepted by the Inland Revenue include:

  • documents being lost through theft, fire or flood that you can’t replace in time
  • life-threatening illness, eg a heart attack that prevents you dealing with your tax affairs
  • the death of a partner shortly before the filing date – you may need to show that you’d taken steps to prepare the return before this happened
  • industrial action by Royal Mail over a lengthy period of time
  • issues with the online filing service, where no work-round was available – you’ll need to provide the error message you received

1 comment

  1. Too late says:

    Hello I have been renting a 2nd property for the last 5 years. The income has always been less than the mortgage costs and other charges so I never thought to fill in a tax return. As my buy-to-let mortgage has now dropped it’s possible this year that I may make a very small profit. I want to declare this – will I be in a lot of trouble if I haven’t put in the self assessment before, even though I have not ever actually made any money?

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